Business, Media, Multimedia

Oscar night belongs to Hurt Locker. Tough luck, Avatar, you can keep your billions. Sorry District 9 and Invictus, we still love you.

By Branko Brkic 8 March 2010

The most commercially successful movie of all time ($2.5 billion and counting), Avatar, was not a match for a small little independent movie about the US Army explosive ordnance disposal team during the Iraqi War, which was made on a shoestring budget. There is still justice in this world.

The Hurt Locker director, and James Cameron’s former wife, Kathryn Bigelow has shattered one of the last remaining glass ceilings, becoming the first woman to win the Academy Award for Best Director. The Hurt Locker won six Awards, including the most important ones, for Best Picture, Best Director and Best Original Screenplay. It also took the gold statuettes for Best Sound Mixing, Best Sound Editing and Best Film Editing.

James Cameron was decidedly not the king of the world this time. Avatar did walk away with three Oscars, but they were mostly for mastery of film science, where they really belong, Best Art Direction, Best Cinematography and, of course, Best Visual Effects.

It was the night of heartache for South Africa though, with Invictus and District 9 walking away empty-handed. But just by being there, they made this country proud. Madiba, er, Morgan Freeman even proudly pulled back his cuffs to reveal his South African Bracelet for Hope. Thank you, man, we love you too.

Jeff Bridges finally won his Actor in a Leading Role award for portraying the washed-out former country star in Crazy Heart. He spent most of the time on the stage thanking his now-departed parents. (His father was Lloyd Bridges, a once-upon-another-time big Hollywood star himself.) Bridges’ performance made this little movie one to watch and enjoy.

Sandra Bullock, also finally, won her Actress in a Leading Role for playing the typical tough southerner mom in The Blind Side. Her Oscar was not only sweet because she bested such acting aristocracy as Merryl Streep and Helen Mirren, but also because this past Saturday she won a Razzie, the worst performance of the year award, for All About Steve, which is some sort of a comedy. That would make her the best and the worst actress of the year – a unique achievement.

Christoph Waltz richly deserved his Best Supporting Actor award for Inglourious Basterds, while Mo’Nique won the Best Supporting Actress for the tough, painful movie, Precious.

And if you’re wondering, The Hurt Locker’s budget was $11 million (even District 9 cost $30 million to make, whilst Avatar’s bill came to $240 million, before marketing). But Hurt Locker has already grossed $220 million (a 2000% return on investment), having mostly cleaned up at all the other major film award ceremonies including the Baftas and Golden Globes.

Read more: The New York Times, LA Times

OSCAR 2010 winners:

Best Picture:
The Hurt Locker

Best Director:
Kathryn Bigelow, The Hurt Locker

Best Actor:
Jeff Bridges, Crazy Heart

Best Actress:
Sandra Bullock, The Blind Side

Best Supporting Actress:
Mo’Nique, for “Precious: Based on The Novel ‘Push’ By Sapphire”

Best Supporting Actor:
Christoph Waltz, for Inglourious Basterds

Best Animated Feature Film:
Up

Best Original Song:
The Weary Kind, music and lyric by Ryan Bingham and T Bone Burnett, for Crazy Heart

Best Original Screenplay:
Mark Boal, for The Hurt Locker

Best Documentary Short:
Music By Prudence

Best Makeup:
Star Trek

Best Short Film (Animated):
Logorama

Best Short Film (Live Action):
The New Tenants

Best Adapted Screenplay:
Goeffrey Fletcher, for Precious: Based on The Novel ‘Push’ By Sapphire

Best Art Direction:
Avatar

Best Costume Design:
The Young Victoria

Best Sound Editing:
The Hurt Locker

Best Sound Mixing:
The Hurt Locker

Best Cinematography:
Avatar

Best Original Score:
Up

Best Visual Effects:
Avatar

Best Editing:
The Hurt Locker

Best Foreign Film:
El Secreto de Sus Ojos

WATCH: Kathryn Bigelow’s post-award interview:

WATCH: Crazy Heart trailer.

Main photo: Best motion picture winners Mark Boal (L), Kathryn Bigelow (C) and Greg Shapiro of the film “The Hurt Locker,” display their Oscars at the 82nd Academy Awards in Hollywood March 7, 2010. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

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